The impact of the developmental timing of trauma exposure on PTSD symptoms and psychosocial functioning among older adults.

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2013-11

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Abstract

The present study examined the impact of the developmental timing of trauma exposure on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and psychosocial functioning in a large sample of community-dwelling older adults (N = 1,995). Specifically, we investigated whether the negative consequences of exposure to traumatic events were greater for traumas experienced during childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, midlife, or older adulthood. Each of these developmental periods is characterized by age-related changes in cognitive and social processes that may influence psychological adjustment following trauma exposure. Results revealed that older adults who experienced their currently most distressing traumatic event during childhood exhibited more severe symptoms of PTSD and lower subjective happiness compared with older adults who experienced their most distressing trauma after the transition to adulthood. Similar findings emerged for measures of social support and coping ability. The differential effects of childhood compared with later life traumas were not fully explained by differences in cumulative trauma exposure or by differences in the objective and subjective characteristics of the events. Our findings demonstrate the enduring nature of traumatic events encountered early in the life course and underscore the importance of examining the developmental context of trauma exposure in investigations of the long-term consequences of traumatic experiences.

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10.1037/a0031985

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Ogle, Christin M, David C Rubin and Ilene C Siegler (2013). The impact of the developmental timing of trauma exposure on PTSD symptoms and psychosocial functioning among older adults. Dev Psychol, 49(11). pp. 2191–2200. 10.1037/a0031985 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9772.

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Rubin

David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.





Siegler

Ilene C. Siegler

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

My research efforts are in the area of developmental health psychology and organized around understanding the role of personality in health and disease in middle and later life.

My primary research activity is as Principal Investigator of the UNC Alumni Heart Study (UNCAHS) a prospective epidemiologic study of 5000 middle aged men and women and 1200 of their spouses that evaluates the role of personality on coronary heart disease and coronary heart disease risk, cancer, and normal aging.

As head of Cancer Prevention Research Unit , I study the role of psychological factors related to mammography behavior and estrogen replacement therapy is being studied in UNCAHS women.








REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS

Siegler, I.C., Zonderman, A.B., Barefoot, J.C., Williams, R.B., Jr., Costa, P.T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1990). Predicting personality from college MMPI scores: Implications for follow-up studies in psychosomatic medicine. Psychosomatic Medicine, 52, 644-652.

Siegler, I.C., Peterson, B.L., Barefoot, J.C., & Williams, R.B. (1992). Hostility during late adolescence predicts coronary risk factors at midlife. American Journal of Epidemiology, 138(2), 146-154.

Siegler, I.C., Peterson, B.L., Barefoot, J.C., Harvin, S.H. Dahlstrom, W.G., Kaplan, B.H., Costa, P.T. Jr., & Williams, R.B. (1992). Using college alumni populations in epidemiologic research: The UNC Alumni Heart Study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 45(11), 1243-1250.

Siegler, I.C., Dawson, D.V., & Welsh, K.A. (1994). Caregiver ratings of personality change in Alzheimer's disease patients: A replication. Psychology and Aging, 9, 464-466.

Siegler, I.C., Feaganes, J.R., & Rimer, B.K. (1995). Predictors of adoption of mammography in women under age 50. Health Psychology, 14, 274-278.



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